Urgent help to find Armadale lads a new home

Urgent help to find Armadale lads a new home

Armadale Community Men’s Shed members Barrie Spencer, Ian Stevenson and Graham Sampson. Photograph – Aaron Van Rongen.

The future for the lads at the Armadale Community Men’s Shed appears shaky as tenders have been called to demolish the asbestos ridden site.

The Tudor Road site opposite the train station in Armadale was offered to the group by the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority in 2014 with a view that the group would vacate when the property was to be developed.

But the group has asked if they could stay as it is home to about 50 men each week who take pleasure in learning new skills and enjoy the camaraderie of the light hearted group.

Armadale Community Men’s Shed member Graham Sampson said the loss of the shed would be devastating particularly for four of the current shed dwellers as this facility is the only social outing they have in their lives.

“We found a suitable venue 12 months ago on Westfield Road but this is no longer viable as vandals have been given the opportunity to destroy it,” he said.

“The old Saint Xavier’s Church building was considered and a unit on South Western Highway also but vandals and the high cost of city rates made both unsuitable.”

Mr Sampson said the shed was open to all options in the next few months even merging with another entity.

“We would love to see more action in finding us a more permanent site,” he said.

“All the meetings we have had over the past six years tell us how much the group is needed and how useful it is to the community but little action to see it come about.”

Mayor Henry Zelones said the city was committed to assisting the ongoing development of community groups including the Armadale Community Men’s Shed and was aware of the group’s desire to find a longer term home.

“Community groups are always encouraged to look for partnering opportunities with other groups however circumstances vary from case to case,” he said.

“In this instance the city is happy to support the Armadale Community Men’s Shed in its current format.”